B.C.'s LNG job claims disputed in new report
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calls its report a reality check
A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives refutes the B.C. government's claim that the Pacific Northwest LNG project will create 100,000 jobs.
"We find this to be a manufactured statistic," lead author Marc Lee told Rick Cluff on CBC's The Early Edition.
Lee says the LNG project's costs outweigh its benefits. He cites greenhouse gas emissions and the impact on the water supply in exchange for what he says are small gains in jobs and revenue. Lee calls the report a reality check.
"The potential gains have been vastly overstated by the provincial government while in a sense, they are privatizing a public resource," Lee said.
Lee points to job numbers from Petronas, the company behind Pacific NortWest LNG. He says once the facility is built, only 2,000 to 3,000 jobs will remain.
Lee says that's a long way from the 100,000 jobs the B.C. Liberals have promised even if all five planned facilities are eventually built and there is no way of knowing how many of those jobs will be temporary or filled by foreign workers.
B.C. government defends numbers
But Rich Coleman, B.C.'s Minister of Natural Gas Development, says many of the 100,000 jobs will be spinoff jobs — in other words, work the LNG industry will create indirectly.
"If you add jobs up and down the chain, there are service jobs that have to be done. There are spinoff jobs that come from that. It affects everything," said Coleman, citing everything from housing construction to new Tim Hortons restaurants.
"You can't put $36 billion into an economy and not have significant spinoffs," he said.
He also said the CCPA report did not consider the 2,000 to 4,000 pipeline jobs that will be created by the project itself.
Coleman says the CCPA did not consult the LNG industry in its report and points out the government is citing numbers from credible accounting firms, Ernst and Young, and KPMG.
To hear more, click the audio labelled: Rich Coleman defends LNG job numbers.